The Atlantic Coast Conference has selected new sites for eight of the championships it will move from North Carolina because of a law that many believe restricts the rights of LGBT people, and the private Reserve Club in Pawleys Island is picking up the 2017 ACC women’s golf championship.
Dates of this season’s 54-hole tournament are tentatively April 13-15, and Reserve Club director of golf Donald Clement said the club has a one-year agreement to host the event.
The Reserve Club, a 7,151-yard Greg Norman design that opened in 1998, is owned and operated by McConnell Golf, and the company has hosted the ACC men’s and women’s championship for several years at two of its other courses in North Carolina.
Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro has hosted the women’s tournament for nine consecutive years and Old North State Club in New London has hosted the men’s championship for the past 15 years. Both courses were slated to continue to host their respective events through 2020. The 2017 men’s championship is moving to McConnell’s Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton.
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“I think it’s a testament to McConnell Golf that they researched their other properties outside North Carolina to find another course to host. We’re looking forward to hosting the ladies of the ACC,” said Clement, who said ACC championship representatives recently made a site visit. “Maybe they’ll fall in love with us and want to host it here multiple years, but for now it’s a one-year contract.”
The Reserve Club has hosted several championships including the 1999 South Carolina Open, 2001-02 Carolinas Opens, 2003-05 Carolinas PGA Section Championships, 2014 South Carolina Amateur, 2012 S.C. Senior Championship, 2016 Carolinas Women’s Amateur and a U.S. Open qualifier in 2000.
ACC officials on Tuesday said men’s and women’s golf are two of three championships headed to S.C., four are moving to Georgia and one is set for Kentucky.
The moves were made in response to a North Carolina law that excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from local and statewide anti-discrimination protections. It also requires transgender people to use restrooms at schools and government buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates.
The four ACC events are headed to Georgia are women’s and men’s swimming and diving (Atlanta) and women’s and men’s tennis (Rome). South Carolina also gets women’s soccer (Charleston) and the baseball tournament is moving from Durham to Louisville, Ky.
In response to the law, the NCAA pulled several championship events from the state last month– including the first- and second-round men’s basketball tournament games scheduled for Greensboro – and the ACC followed suit days later.
The ACC had said it would move 10 neutral-site championships out of North Carolina because of the law.
Last week, the league awarded this season’s football championship game to Orlando, Fla. The latest announcement addresses every sport affected by the relocation decision except women’s basketball. League spokesman Steve Phillips says that site has not yet been determined.